February 24, 2024

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Winners and losers of 2023 NFL Week 17: Ravens steal New Year's Eve spotlight while Eagles and Buccaneers flounder

Winners and losers of 2023 NFL Week 17: Ravens steal New Year's Eve spotlight while Eagles and Buccaneers flounder

2023 NFL The season is coming to a head as we say goodbye to the 2023 calendar year. There has been plenty of drama around the league to help kick off the new year. From the Cardinals ruining Philadelphia's offseason to the Ravens declaring themselves the AFC's top tier, Week 17 was full of headlines.

Which players, coaches and teams deserve the most praise (or criticism)? Here are our biggest winners and losers:

Will Brinson has already outlined as muchgoing so far as to suggest that Jackson is borderline Hall of Fame material, assuming he makes it NFL history by becoming the youngest midfielder to win multiple MVP titles at the age of 27. One thing is non-negotiable: Jackson was lights out in a crucial battle for the top seed in the AFC playoffs with the Dolphins. His easy five-point play put Miami to shame, cementing Baltimore as a title contender, as well as himself as the most dynamic and efficient quarterback this year.

Loser: Nick Sirianni and the Eagles crew

If there was ever a time for the declining Birds to advance directly into the playoffs, it should have been at home against Jonathan Gannon's Cardinals, who took over Lincoln Financial Field with Kyler Murray half-ill and a lineup full of spare parts. Instead, Sirianni and Brian Johnson became too bland down the stretch, and Matt Patricia's defense looked impotent alongside a pick-six in the first half. There's really no world in which the 2023 Eagles should give up 35 points to the 2023 Cardinals. Philly needs to wake up fast.

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Nothing Fields does in late 2023 might prevent the Bears from seizing the opportunity to reset the quarterback position with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft. And beating the Falcons certainly doesn't mean, say, routing a playoff run. But he was nearly flawless against an underrated Atlanta defense in Week 17, topping 300 total yards to lead one of the Bears' most convincing wins of the year. It's not hard to see this kid still has the talent to be a difference maker. If the Bears don't buy it, someone else will.

Loser: Florida teams

The Jaguars won, so they're excused. But others? Baker Mayfield has been getting more and more hype in recent weeks as a potential post-2023 option for Tampa Bay under center, but with a clear shot at clinching the NFC South against the mercurial Saints, he, Todd Bowles and basically all of the Buccaneers' core leaders have fallen short, making a rematch in Week 18 with the Panthers is extremely important. Meanwhile, Mike McDaniel's Dolphins couldn't keep up with Baltimore to prove they were ready for a deep playoff run.

Winner: NFL Parity

A day after the Cowboys and Lions played within one point of each other, Sunday's schedule was another reminder that nothing is certain in this league. The Cardinals upset the Eagles. The Giants nearly did the same to the Rams. The Colts and Raiders appropriately played a one-score affair. So do the Bills and Patriots, who should theoretically be on different planes. Perhaps the only teams to survive the recent barrage of questions are the 49ers and Ravens, who are justified power The contestants are in front.

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